News High five: Obama and Cameron playing table tennis at the Globe Academy School in London 2011

The 'special relationship' is stronger than it’s ever been

Conservative Party conference: David Cameron defends Tory plan for more seven years of austerity

Billions more to be cut from welfare cash before 2020 in pledge for surplus

US shutdown: Pound surges to year high against dollar

Greenback took a hit after Congress and White House failed to reach deal to keep funding administration after current budget year ends

The entry to the Jefferson Memorial is closed off in Washington

US shutdown: President Obama vows not to give in to 'ideological crusade' as budget impasse forces 800,000 people off work

Republicans and Democrats have failed to agree the budget for federal agencies, forcing non-essential workers on unpaid leave

Q&A: What is the US shutdown?

What is the shutdown?

We are fighting al-Qa’ida, Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Moallem tells UN

The Syrian Foreign Minister has told the UN General Assembly that his government is fighting a war against militants linked to al-Qa’ida who eat human hearts and dismember people while they are still alive, then send their limbs to the family.

Shutdown looms for US government as Republicans seek to derail Obama's healthcare bill by stripping funding

If Congress cannot agree on a spending bill by Tuesday the government will run out of money for non-essential services

President Hollande was 'hours' from launching fighter jets headed for Syria when Barack Obama called off strikes

French were 'hours' from military strikes on Syria before phone call from Obama

Fighter jets were preparing for scheduled take off when President Hollande took 'stunning' call from US telling him to hold fire

One of the anti-US placards greeting Rouhanin Tehran yesterday

Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, returns from Barack Obama talk to jeers – and cheers – in Tehran

The Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, was greeted by angry scenes on his return to Tehran from New York yesterday, with his convoy pelted with eggs, shoes and stones amid chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel".

President Rouhani attacked by protesters in Iran following historic call with US President Barack Obama

Hardline protesters threw shoes and eggs at Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and chanted "death to America", following the first conversation between American and Iranian presidents in more than three decades during a 15 minute phone call yesterday evening.

The President was speaking at a community college just outside Washington

Republican debt-default threat is crazy, says President Obama

Barack Obama has denounced Republican moves to potentially use the threat of a disastrous debt default by the American government to delay funding for his signature health reforms as “crazy”, saying he would “not negotiate on anything when it comes to the full faith and credit of the United States of America”.

To cap it all: Samuel L Jackson

Samuel L Jackson disillusioned with President Obama: 'Be a leader, stop trying to relate'

In an expletive-filled rant, the actor said Mr Obama needs to be more 'f***ing presidential' and stop dropping his 'G's

Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, addresses the UN General Assembly in New York

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attacks 'violent' sanctions, but confirms he is ready for talks with West in UN address

The newly elected president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, confirmed Iran’s readiness to engage immediately in “time-bound and results-oriented” talks with western powers to resolve the stand-off over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions under certain conditions while also excoriating them for imposing “violent” sanctions on his country.

A Syrian couple mourn in front of dead bodies

Syrian immorality tales: Two men in the conflict who didn’t deserve their fate

The cruelty of Omar’s treatment is exactly the reason why the whole crisis began in Syria

President Barack Obama addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York

Iran's president Hassan Rouhani dashes hopes of historic meeting with Barack Obama

US President also tells United Nations General Assembly he has approved discussions with Iran over nuclear weapons

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Barack Obama expected to engage with Iran's President Hasan Rouhani in UN nuclear talks

Leaders of US and Iran haven't had face-to-face contact in more than 30 years

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Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
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The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
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Cameron Jerome
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine